The Blog of The Bride of Sesshomaru


Welcome to my sewing, historical reenactment, and CosPlay blog! Here on this blog you will find all of my random thoughts about sewing, the SCA, manga, anime, CosPlay, costume making, embroidery, sewing historically accurate Japanese costumes, and my fandom of Lord Sesshomaru whom I CrossPlay as.

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Lord Sesshomaru's Shoes


Lord Sesshomaru's Shoes
The horrors of being a slave to fashion.
One of the world's worst, most terrible, all time horrors to ever rear it's ugly head into fashion history finds it's way into this costume. Bound feet! OMG! I am so not making Sesshy's shoes historically accurate and would never recommend any one else do so either.

Much of Sesshy's costume is influenced by the continent and not the island . . . keeping in mind that in the 1500's China and Japan were still basically one country, with the continent dwellers in constant war with the island dwellers, and according to his creator Rumiko Takahashi, unlike the other characters in the series, Seeshy grew up on the continent. In other words, he grew up in China, not Japan, which explains the slight differences in his hakama, battle armor, and shoes, from the other characters in the series. None of those differences is more obvious than his shoes.

On first appearances, we assume Lord Sesshomaru is wearing boots, but than if we look at the shoes from that time period we do not see real Samurai wearing boots. If fact, what we do see is what all the other characters in the series are wearing: rope sandals, leather sandals, tapi socks and rope sandals, or just going barefoot.

To find Sesshomaru's shoes in the history books we must leave the island (Japan) and head to the continent (China) where we find the most astounding and horrifically painful atrocity in fashion history: binding shoes.

In the feudal era, binding shoes were all the rage. It was the "in thing" to do. To hell with the pain, everyone wanted smaller feet. Worn by women, children, and nobles, binding shoes were as their title says, very small, very tight, and very painful shoes meant for the sole purpose of binding the feet to stop their growth and literally force them to become progressively smaller. It is known today, that the long term wearing of binding shoes can cripple your feet, but in the 1500's if you were of high rank, you wore them, and so it seems did our Lord Sesshomaru.

Binding ones feet involved, wrapping silk cloth around your ankles and feet, in a manner reminiscent of wrapping an Egyptian mummy. These wrappings were pulled as tightly as possible to constrict your feet, thus allowing you to be able to force your feet into the tiny shoes, which did in fact resemble low ankle boots. The binding shoe itself was made of embroidered silk and/or soft deer skin; often the soles were of carved wood.

Sesshomaru's appear to be made of a deer skin dyed black, with soft leather soles and a closer that is trimmed with a band of silver tooling around the edges.

Now, since I'm not even going to begin to consider (or recommend) the use of binding shoes, I shall now look at the alternatives.

What I would recommend is to find a pair of black soft suede ankle boots, which you could leave as is, or decorate with silver ribbon or silver embroidery to mimic the wrapped edges. It's simple, it's quick, it's easy to find at most shoe stores, and more importantly, it's painless!

Bound feet, it's no wonder Lord Sesshomaru has a short temper!

Winkle Pickers!
Strange Shoes that Resemble Bound Feet!

Winkle Pickers are thin, pointy toed shoes, that get their name from the fact that they resemble Winkle Sea Shells. Like Binding Shoes, they are a fetish thing, worn on a daily basis by only a select few, however, in resent years, the Goth culture has brought them back into style and they are not too hard to find if you know where to look.

The type of Winkle Picker you are going to want to look for, is the type that resemble Binding Shoes: they are a low ankle boot style of soft suede, silk, or leather, and have "mock-binding straps" which are closed with silver clasps just as Binding Shoes are.

Oooh! Such lovely shoes! I'd buy these even if I wasn't making this costume. These are the ones I'm going to be wearing with this costume. I'm ordering them just as soon as I figure out how to translate UK sizes into USA sizes, so I know which size to order.

What's your take on this? I'd love to hear what you have to say about this post. Leave a comment and share your views!


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